Self Control: What To Do When She Backs Away
The importance of self control when a woman you are dating backs away because she feels smothered.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who started seeing a woman he met two months ago. He was doing well with her, but his feelings and emotions got the best of him and he came on too strong. He made her feel smothered, and she started backing away from him. He regained his composure and is giving her space to feel free.
He asks how to balance his excitement and strong desire for her so he doesn’t over pursue when she comes back. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
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This is such a common thing I see in phone sessions with a lot of guys. They read my book, 3% Man, a couple of times, they start having great success and they do well with it. In a year or two, their dating life dramatically improves, and then, of course, a woman comes along who absolutely knocks their socks off, and they’re good for a few weeks. They’re really excited, really elated to be with with her, because she makes them feel things that they just don’t feel for the rest of the women that they’ve dated. And what happens is they start to revert back to their old ways.
And when they revert back to the old ways, they start displaying the same kind of unattractive behavior. Like this guy, he came on too strong and he started smothering her. And so, it’s interesting, some of the things that she says to him are the reasons and the excuses of why she kind of needs some space. So, he’s backed off. It seems like he’s kind of saved it, but it’s a good email to help you fine tune what to do in this situation.
It’s great when you’re dating somebody that you’re not super into, if you’ve got the book, because the successful repetitions that you get from that help grow your confidence. So, when you do find the girl that really knocks your socks off, the dream type of woman, if you will — because every every guy has got his fantasy of what he wants — when you’re actually dating somebody like that, they check all your boxes and they do for you physically what most women just simply don’t do, and on top of that, they really like you and really like hanging out with you, it’s really hard the first time that you’re faced with it.
Most guys never get to experience this even once in their life, just because when somebody comes along that makes them feel this way, they screw it up within a few weeks and then she’s gone forever. So, they never get to know what it’s like to date and be in a relationship with or make love to a woman like this, have her fall head over heels in love, and just kind of be putty your hands, in a good way, because you have demonstrated your masculinity consistently.
Hey Coach Corey,
Thanks for your continued effort to help men understand their role and responsibilities in a healthy relationship. I’m a long-time follower, first time caller with a situation I’d love your advice on.
About two months ago. I met a woman while ice skating. We had instant chemistry and things progressed steadily and naturally with little effort. Everything was going great but, as I have done more times than I’m proud of, I started getting too cute too soon and sending out relationship vibes.
Well, as I talk about in “3% Man,” the man’s job is to create an opportunity for sex to happen, to hang out, have fun and hook up. That’s it. It’s that simple. Not to lock her down in a relationship, but to create the conditions where the woman feels safe and comfortable to come and go as she pleases. Because, as the Thich Nhat Hanh quote says, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.”
So, by her feeling that freedom and the fact that you remain centered, she actually wants to spend even more time with you. And eventually, she works to convince you to be her boyfriend, instead of you trying to lock her down. Which is pretty much what you see in all of the movies and TV shows, that the guy’s got to chase after the girl relentlessly, like a stalker, and lock her down before somebody else steals her. It doesn’t work in the real world. You only end up with a restraining order.
I sensed the shift in our dynamic and immediately pulled back knowing I had over pursued. This initially worked, but things have been a little up and down for the past two weeks since.
Yeah. So, what happens is you start to pull back, and then she doesn’t come back as quickly as you thought she would. And then, what happens is the fear creeps in. And we have two primary fears: fear that we’re not enough, and fear that we won’t be loved. And obviously, when you really want someone, really bad like this, it’s hard to do the right thing. And if you have never experienced being in a relationship with somebody where you have these kinds of feelings and emotions and they’re mutual, it’s very rare, and so, you don’t want to screw it up.
But when you come from a place of fear, remember, what you fear you attract, and what you look at disappears. And so, it’s that silence. It’s like, “Am I ever going to hear from her again? Did I screw it up beyond all repair? Have I totally ruined it where she’s completely turned off?” And you don’t know. You have to go through those days and hours of not hearing from her and wondering if you’ve just completely ruined it like all the others, if you will.
As you know, for those who haven’t read the book 15 times, once the launch sequence of love has been started, it’s a hard one to override. Or, as I like to say, I got sucked into the Pussy Pedestal Portal.
I’ve never heard that before.
In this less harmonious time, she revealed that she needed things to go slow, that she felt smothered, and finally admitted that she had some leftover feelings for someone no longer in her life.
Notice how everything that she’s saying is all focused on her “feelings.” Because women care about what they “feel “about you. They don’t care how much you like them, they care about how they “feel” about you. And when you make a woman feel smothered, she feels like she’s losing her freedom and she wants to dip out on you.
It’s kind of like the cat analogy. If you run after a cat, the cat’s like, “leave me alone,” and it takes off. But if you just leave the cat alone, it’ll go off and do its own thing and then, eventually, it’ll come back and sit in your lap and start purring. You have to let women come to you at their pace. She was not feeling that. She was feeling controlled, she was feeling smothered, and so, she’s using examples of other things in her life to try to explain to the guy how she’s feeling.
I chose this as an opportunity to reset. The last time I saw her, I told her to take whatever time she needs to clear her head and to call me when she misses me.
Perfect. That’s all you’ve got to say.
Three days later, she messaged me with a smile to check in, saying she is enjoying some much needed recoup time, (she has a demanding job and lost a parent a year ago, so she has some weight on her shoulders)…
Again, more descriptive things about her emotions. Obviously, losing a parent is very emotional. It’s overwhelming, emotionally. And so, women throw that analogy out there, and what she’s trying to communicate is, “you’re making me feel overwhelmed like I did when I lost my mother.” In other words, the emotions are crushing and they’re hard to deal with, therefore I’ve got to be alone.” Kitty cats have got to go roam around and contemplate — talk to the girlfriends, talk to her aunts, her female co-workers.
…and that she would reach out to me next week.
When a woman says something like that, you’ve got to have the ball say, “I’m amazing. I’m a catch. Of course she’ll reach out next week. Of course she’ll do what she said she’s going to do.” But in between the days going by, sometimes women will say, “I’ll call you next week,” and then they don’t. They wait until the following week. And that’s really where you separate the men from the boys.
But one of the things I said in a recent newsletter is that you’ve got to give women the space to either follow through on the plans that she’s made and the commitments she’s made to you or to flake out and leave your life forever. And that’s the fear, “What if I never hear from her again? How awful would that be? When’s the next time I’m going to meet somebody that makes me feel this way, and who at least initially felt the same way about me?”
I’ve found one to three of those a decade, depending on your life path, and how long you’re in different relationships, how long you’re single. One to three a decade. And so, these really sting when they go sideways. You’re like, “Man, it might be a few more years before I click with somebody like that.” And that’s hard to deal with because you’re like,” I don’t want to wait a few more years. I want it to happen now.” But you’ve got to be super patient. As Edward Chapin said, “Impatience never commands success.”
I replied, excited that she was taking time for herself but kept my reaction to her reaching out in the future to a “sounds good to me, have yourself a great weekend.”
That’s perfect. It communicates you’re cool. You’re excited for her to have time. And quite frankly, guys that have their shit together are like, “Oh, this is great. I can catch up with my buddies, I can catch up on those projects. I can reorganize the garage, I can do some home improvement projects, I can go see my mother, whatever it happens to be.
I’m working on the “take it or leave it, let the cat roam” philosophy that you teach so well.
Well, again, like Thich Nhat Hanh said, “You must love in such a way that the person you love feels free.” And the worst thing you can do when a woman is feeling smothered is to keep chasing her and calling and pursuing her. She told you what she needed. Women help you when they like you, and you’ve got to give her the space to do that or, like I said, flake out and disappear from your life forever. Because you want somebody that chose to be with you, not that you forced them into your life.
I’ve stayed silent since. In this time, I actually realized I needed the space just as much as she did to get my head screwed back on straight. My question to you, Coach, is when you are an enthusiastic, big-hearted guy who loves cooking dinners and being a gentleman, how do you balance this aspect of your personality while not coming off as over pursuing?
Again, this is another reason why I say read “3% Man” 10 to 15 times. Because when you read it 10 to 15 times backwards and forwards, you get to know and understand the philosophy, so it’s more instinctual. When you’ve only been through it a handful of times, you come off as like a robot, because there are so many things you’re trying to undo that society and media has programmed incorrectly into you, that what ends up happening is you’re going, “Uhhh, should I do this? Should I do that?” You’re constantly questioning and doubting yourself. And what happens is you don’t feel peace. You feel really fearful and really uncertain about the future.
And that’s why you want to know the book really well, plus going through this several times. But also having these emails, because other guys are going through the same thing, they’re going through the same struggles. You can see guys that get it right, and then you can see guys that get it wrong and suffer the agony of defeat. The idea with me doing these video newsletters is to provide real world examples of guys and girls that are going through the exact things that I write about in the book, so you can learn from what they did right and what they did wrong and make corrective behavior, so you can avoid the agony of defeat.
When she comes back, I want to be the same man she enjoyed before, just without being needy or sending out “lock her down” signals.
That’s why you’ve got to let her come to you. The idea is, if you can get to the point where she’ll do 100% of the pursuing, or 95% or 97%, that’s the best place to be because she’s always pursuing you. She’s always calling you, she’s always texting you, and that makes you feel really comfortable as a man. It really gives you a feeling of peace inside that all is well in your relationship life.
And then when you do spend time with her, it’s just amazing. It’s easy, it’s effortless. And then when you’re away from her, as a man, you really feel amazing, you feel invigorated. You feel like you want to work harder. You want to work out more, you want to take better care of yourself. You want to take on bigger projects, you want to ask for a raise. You’ll go change jobs, you’ll start that business. It lights you up on the inside. It makes you grow into the man that you’re capable of growing into.
But when you’re in a fearful place and you’re always worried about, “When am I going to hear from her?” or “If I’m going to hear from her,” it’s hard to concentrate on things. It’s hard to feel like you want to expand. It’s hard to feel like you want to take risks when you’re in that place.
Any wisdom would be appreciated. I’m excited to see how this all plays out now that I’m refocused my attention on the right way to do things, instead of my old ways that always usually get me burned.
Thanks for your time and all the best.
So more than likely what happened was he was sailing along, meets this girl, and he’s like, “I already read that book a few times. I don’t need to read it 10 to 15 times, like Corey says. I’m different. I’m super smart.”
I talked to a guy the other day, a really smart, brilliant guy that works at a very successful company — a high level person, super smart, super high IQ — and he’s like, “I really don’t need to read this book 10 to 15 times.” And he hadn’t even read it. He had just cherry picked from some videos. And so, he was in the middle of a situation. And when I actually ended up talking to him, he’d been through it one time and he just recognized, “Man, I made all of these damned mistakes.” I said, “People don’t believe me. I tell them 10 to 15 times for a reason, because I don’t want you to suffer.” But hey, if you want to do things the hard way, it’s your choice.
But make the choice to make things easy and effortless. Go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, subscribe to the email newsletter, and you can read “3% Man” right in your web browser on any device. You can also read “Mastering Yourself,” my second book. And we’ve got also “Quotes, Ruminations & Contemplations — Volume I” in there, my first book of quotes. And my latest and greatest, “Quotes, Ruminations & Contemplations — Volume II” is now out, and we’ll be releasing the audiobook in the next month or two as well. It’s available at Amazon, iTunes, and Audible.com.